I’ve got a thing about bags - all sizes, shapes, functions, fashions. I’m always looking for the perfect carry-all, something between a trendy hobo sack (where things can get lost for days) and one of those uber-utilitarian models that only suspiciously organized people and Europeans use.
That’s probably why Beyond Her has had so many totes in the past. There’s no danger of that behavior stopping now.
This fanatacism reaches new levels when it comes to shopping for purses. Anyone who has known me for more than a month has suffered through a purse-hunt period, in which I beat my chest and bemoan the state of fashion design.
Purse shopping is not something I take lightly. It is a mission, really a spiritual quest.
It doesn’t seem to me that I am looking for anything that unusual, but here is where purse designers and me disagree. All I want are:
Straps that put the bag somewhere between my armpit and knees
Lining that allows me to locate my worldly goods -- or at least notice any deteriorating food items.
Some way of organizing my stuff, beyond a great gaping fabric hole.
And, a bottom that lets me at least rest the bag somewhere for a dang minute without exposing my life story to everyone within speaking distance.
And then there’s the size issue.
There was a time, after my kids were little and quit needing things like diapers, kleenex and binkies all the time, when my purses got down to a nice little manageable size. That lasted about five years.
Then we entered the Age of Eyeglasses -- reading glasses, driving glasses and a pair of sunglasses with a case the size of a smart car. My volume requirements grew exponentially.
It was a slippery slope, and when it comes to purses these days, bigger is definitely better. I have wasted so much time looking for keys, phones, pencils, lipstick -- I’m beginning to suspect it is a plot to distract us from the war in Afghanistan and the state of the US economy.
I even heard of one type of purse that has a built-in flashlight. Doesn’t anyone see anything wrong here?
It goes back to my same old song -- isn’t design supposed to make things easier? Things like getting through the regular old, where-did-I-stash-my-parking-ticket, kind of day?
My Bag: Beyond Her Totes
After much R&D, Beyond Her introduced our own brand of totes in Fall 2013. Using specialty waxed linen and canvas fabrics -- and our own designs -- we added pockets, key fobs, magnetic clasps and shoulder length leather straps to make something wonderful. More coming. Stay tuned!
Her Point of View
Designer Paule Hewlett takes on design, culture and modern life.
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"Life is too short for ugly dish towels. Really, ugly anything."